Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lingerie Sew-Along: Tap Pants Lace Inset and Front/ Back Facings, Part 10

Today we're going to go over the lace inset, and the front and back facings.

In the first post on the tap pants, we traced out a pattern piece for the lace inset. (Before you add any extra to the size of the pattern).

It might come in handy to fold the inset pattern piece in half so that you have a crease guiding you to the center of the inset.

I am using a vintage lace trim several inches wide. The source of the lace? My awesome mother!  Your steps may be different depending on what type of lace you use. What I did above was just center the inset pattern piece over the two scallops so that I could cut my trim at the right point. Then I cut two lengths of the lace, one for each leg.

I have marked the very center of the spot where I'll be laying in my inset on the RIGHT side of the tap pants leg. Since I have chosen to use a scallop- edged lace, I will line up the center point of my two scallops with the pin.

lace inset being set up on the RIGHT side of the pantie leg.
First I lined the scallops in the lace up with my pin marking the center point. Then I laid the inset pattern piece over and pinned it in place to both the lace and the pantie leg. The lace should be resting on the RIGHT side of the fabric. Then I trimmed the excess lace away from the edge.

Above I have removed the pattern piece and secured the lace again to the pantie leg. Now comes the fun part.

In Pretty Pretties, the lace is hand stitched carefully to the RIGHT side of the fabric. Luckily, we have something better now than hand stitching for lace insets. Its called an Applique Stitch and it's our friend! Most machines should have this stitch, and you can look in your manual to find it if you're not sure.

On my Brother machine, my applique stitch is #24. If you don't have an applique stitch on your machine, just use a zigzag stitch. After much experimenting I discovered that the best applique stitch for me is 3 mm wide and 0.5 mm between each stitch.

With your lace very securely pinned in place, stitch all the way from one end of the curve to the other, about 1/4" from the edge of the lace. Sewing a bit back from the edge gives your applique stitch as much grip on the lace as possible to keep it safely attached.

Now trim the excess lace from the outside of the stitching, being careful not to clip your stitches.

Your inset stitching from the WRONG side.
Now we need to get rid of the fabric behind the lace. From the RIGHT side of the fabric, flip the lace back to expose the pantie fabric. Trim the fabric away from inside the circle, trimming very close to the stitching.

Since I have a scalloped lace edge, I trimmed the edge of my fabric to a scallop too. This edge will be bound later.

The Facings:
A quick note for those of you who accidentally cut out your V of Doom from the placket opening: For your yoke facing, you'll want to extend the edge of it so it faces the edge of the extension placket I mentioned. Below is just a quick mock up of an extension I drafted to make the yoke facing piece longer.

For the yoke facing, pin it right sides together to the pantie yoke matching up the center and the edges at the placket. Stitch the facing on and press.

The Front yoke of the pantie, with the yoke faced and pressed on the other side.

Now we want to pin the back facing piece to the back of the panties, RIGHT sides together and stitch. Then flip the facing to the inside and press.

The pantie back from the RIGHT side, with the facing pressed to the inside.
The pantie facing pressed to the inside.

Next post we'll cover finishing the raw edges of the facing pieces, the placket, binding the leg, and we're done!

Lingerie Sew-Along: Inner Leg and Front to Back Seams, Part 9

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lingerie Sew-Along: Inner Leg and Front to Back Seams, Part 9

Today we're continuing on the tap pants. Last time we had just finished sewing the yoke to the front of the two tap pants pieces. Next we're going to do our major seams. First we start with the inner leg seams.

Above I have laid the tap pants right side up. Fold the leg seam pieces towards each other, the two far outside pieces should fold towards the inside, and the two very center pieces towards the far outside.

The inside leg seam pieces should be pinned, right sides together and stitched.

Here are the two inside leg seams pinned RIGHT sides together. And a kitty butt.

Vincent: "Well... hello, ladies."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lingerie Sew-Along: Tap Pants Cutting, Darts and Yoke, Part 8

Most of you have already read that this week I lost my very dear uncle. It has been a very bittersweet week for me, getting to see so many loved ones for the first time in years (since we moved to Norway) and doing a few vacation-like things, yet still mourning the loss of someone who made my life so much richer.
I did something amazing on Friday in remembrance of my uncle. He was a great adventurer, living his life to the fullest at every opportunity. So in honor of him, I jumped out of a plane. I went skydiving with my husband and father in law, fellow adventurers, and 2 of the three people I would want to jump out of a plane with. The third was my uncle, no longer with us, but I jumped with him in my heart, and his name on my lips before the 120 mph fall completely knocked the air out of me.

My uncle said yes to every adventure, every opportunity for something new and exciting, and I mean to live the rest of my life just like that.

Still, I have been feeling horribly guilty for leaving you all hanging, having bought your patterns only to have them sitting half done for too long. I'm sorry. So with a buzz of relatives about, I was able to jot down a quick bit about cutting out the pattern pieces, and sewing the darts and yoke.

So today, if you haven't already, you can get started on cutting out our pattern pieces for the tap pants.  Here I have cut out 2 yokes from my contrasting solid fabric. This is the same cotton I used for my bra band. Whether or not you use a contrasting yoke is entirely up to you.

Note: If you have already made the mistake of cutting out the "V of Doom" at the placket opening, you might consider extending the edges of your second yoke piece by about 2 1/2" so that they face our "placket extension."

Here I am cutting out my main panty piece. To my eternal disappointment, I didn't have enough fabric left to make my plaids match very well. Oh well. It's times like these that I wish I could just pop to the local store and grab another yard or two.

A bit of a delay...

Most of you know that I've been on vacation, and that I was hoping to finish the sew-along despite that, and I'm trying, but unforeseen circumstances have brought that to a grinding halt.
A few days ago, my very dear uncle passed away. There are no words that express what he meant to me and my family. Blogging in the wake of that seemed rather silly.

I will resume soon and I know most of you understand, but to the commenter who thinks I'm spending my whole trip getting affordable manicures, please keep in mind that you never know a whole person's story, and a little politeness might be welcome in the place of snarky comments.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Starting the Tap Pants - Lingerie Sew Along Part 7

Pauline Tap Pants

Hello from Virginia! I'm on day 2 of vacation and slowly recovering from jet lag and the "my husband lost his passport" debacle. But I am recovered enough to hopefully put together enough of this post to let you get started on your tap pants if you haven't already.

By now you should be ok on the details of printing out your pattern (Don't forget to scale to 100%!) and taping the bits together.

Once you have the pattern all taped together as above, you can start adding your seam allowances. I add 1.5 cm for my seam allowance. Why centimeters, you might ask? Because although I'm an American, I bought this nifty set of rulers in Norway that are clear and make adding a seam allowance a breeze. They are in centimeters, and that just makes my life easier. You can also go with 1/2" seam allowances.

You don't need to add any seam allowance to inside the v-shaped gap at the top of the pattern, it's not completely possible to anyways. This is where we will sew our placket. Add your seam allowance to the entire top edge of the whole pattern.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lingerie Sew-Along: Closure, Straps and Finishing Touches, Part 6

It's time to finish up our bra, ladies. Are you ready? I chose this lovely set of vintage flower buttons for the closure of my bra (and later my tap pants).
(You can scroll down to see the finished bra if you just can't wait.)

To catch my buttons I'm going to make a simple loop with ribbon. I deplore button holes in lingerie, and they just get worse if you use silk or satin. Slippery fabric + button hole = lots of swearing on my part.

Here is just made a simple loop with a line of stitches to make it lie flat.

Before you sew your ribbon on to your bra, make sure that the button will fit through snugly.

 Before I sew my ribbon loop to the bra band though, I want to cover up the raw edges of the ribbon. Below is the raw edges just sewn together to keep them from spreading out. They are not sewn on to the bra band yet, they are just there for me to get an idea of where to place them.

Below I just wrapped the loose ends of my ribbon in another length of ribbon, hiding my raw ends on the back side

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lingerie Sew-Along: Finishing the Bra Band, Part 5

When we last left off, we had finished binding the top of the bra. Now we're going to finish facing the bra band.

The bra, inside out.
First turn your bra inside out so that the WRONG sides are on the outside. Start at one end and pin the bra band together RIGHT sides together.

The back bra band, RIGHT sides together.
Pin a few inches of the band at one end, then match up the center and pin that for a few inches, and do the same for the opposite end. Then pin the rest of those gaps. This helps to avoid strange bunches of fabric since the band is cut on the bias.

The bra, RIGHT sides together.
You'll want to leave a 2" gap in the band just under one of the cups for turning the bra right sides out again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lingerie Sew-Along: Binding the top of the bra, Part 4

First off, for those of you who are interested in a fascinating blog post on the 1940's style bra silhouette, check out this very well researched post on By Gum, By Golly.

Photo from By Gum, By Golly.
We also had a good question yesterday about darts: after resizing her bra pattern to allow for a larger bust size, Xye asked: Anna! Where is the top dart supposed to lie? Mine is pointing the dart nearest the side/furthest from centre - so not central to bust point? And how far from centre back should the tapered point of the upper bra piece end? Mine is ending about 2" from centre back (I think, while squinting and half turning to look in the mirror!). Thanks!

This is a great question! Xye, your top dart is in just the right place! Good job! The back sounds about right too. On mine it is about 2 1/2" from the center back, but this will vary a bit depending on whether or not you extended the back, and how much stretch your bra band fabric has on the bias.

And now on to binding the top of the bra:

When last we left off, we had just finished creating a separate outer and lining. Place the outer and lining pieces WRONG sides together.

Outer and Lining Wrong sides together.
Start by matching the center front and pin a few pins to secure them together.

Pin the center front of outer and lining WRONG sides together.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lingerie Sew-Along: Darts, Pressing, and Attaching the Bra Band, PART 3

For today's post we'll go over our darts, pressing aids, and our first seam for the bra band.

If you have a bit of experience sewing already, you should be familiar with marking and sewing darts. If this is new to you, or you just want a quick refresher, here's a blog post I did on darts.

Here I have marked my darts with pins. This is what it would look like after I pulled the pattern piece off, but before I separated the two pattern pieces. Make sure your darts are on the WRONG side of your fabric! If you have a fabric that makes it hard to tell one from the other, use a chalk mark on the wrong side to help you keep track.

Once you fold your darts and pin them in place, start at the bottom and straight stitch up to a point.